Wood construction is gaining in popularity around the world. New technologies have made it possible to build higher and stronger. Sustainably harvested wood stores carbon dioxide, while reforestation absorbs yet more CO2. That's why the new wave of wood construction is so exciting, and why so many jurisdictions are looking at changing the building codes to promote the use of wood and allow taller wood buildings. Particularly in North America, where the forests are under attack by the pine beetle and will just rot if not cut and used, building with wood makes more sense than ever.
The manufacture of concrete, on the other hand, is responsible for almost 5% of the world's annual CO2 production. The aggregate that is mixed with cement to make concrete is another problem. Any switch from concrete to wood construction is going to be good for the climate. Who it is not good for is the people who make and build with concrete, like the Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association. . They have turned themselves into environmentalists, with headlines like If current deforestation rates continue, critical habitats could disappear within the next hundred years. Their full-page ads and press releases tug at the heartstrings and drop names of prestigious organizations:
While leading environmental organizations from National Geographic to Forest Ethics are warning of the threats of deforestation and clear- cutting, governments in Canada are implementing policies mandating the use of wood. In provinces such as B.C., Nova Scotia and Ontario, members of the building industry have proposed “Wood First” legislation requiring the use of wood in certain building construction.
They are asking readers of the papers to contact their members of Parliament to stop this terrible thing, goaded on by photos of clearcuts and poor homeless animals in the foreground.
The photo is a Shutterstock stock photo and they have photoshopped the animal into the foreground; They can't even be honest about their imagery.
These are not environmentalists supporting the work of ForestEthics, they are co-opting their name and the environmental movement as a whole to try and subvert a move to a greener way of building with a renewable resource that can and is being sustainably harvested. Instead, the CCMPA misquotes ForestEthics (try and find the stats on the ForestEthics page that are linked to with the **, I couldn't)
Properly designed, wood construction is safe, soundproof and durable. It's far, far better for the environment, particularly right now when there is so much to be harvested before it rots. The whole campaign is as deceptive as the photoshopped stock photo.
I have contacted ForestEthics to get their opinion about this campaign, and will update post when I receive it.